Time for a reboot

Posted by on 10 Jun, 2011 in Lifenotes, Relationships | 2 comments

Sometimes, the path reaches a dead end, and you have to turn back…

You know when your computer’s been running for a long time and everything starts to get really sluggish? You can still do all your usual tasks but everything is a real effort, it becomes hard work to do even the simplest of things. It’s like running through treacle.

In these situations, there reaches a point where you have to reboot. You’ll have to spend a fair bit of time getting everything loaded back up and working just the way you like it, but hopefully after that you will be able to return to normal operations, and be effective and productive again as you go about your business.

Well sometimes, that can happen in a marriage too. You get so stuck into routine and habits, so drained from squabbling over trivia, that you can’t make any progress anymore. Having fun and joyous moments doesn’t even seem possible. The relationship is broken on some level, and drastic steps have to be taken if there is any chance of getting it back to normal. This is the stage my wife and I find ourself at now. We’ve had some problems communicating for a while now, and despite our best efforts, we have reached something of a dead end. But we still have some small amount of hope that we may still have a future together.

So we have reached the decision to “reboot”, to take a step back in our relationship and live apart. When you can’t move forwards any more, you have to fall back, and find a different path. We are hopeful that through this change, we will be able to find a new balance, where we are each happier in ourselves and not trampling on each other’s ability to function at high efficiency and feel at peace. We don’t know what the future will hold, but it’s clear that we will each need to find strength from inside ourselves until we are able to really be there for each other like we used to.

Back to my beginnings
As I “start again” on this journey, it happens that I find myself at the 15-year reunion of the school in Massachusetts, USA that I attended for a short while as a 19 year old. This is incredibly fitting, because it was here, during my first time living away from home, that I first really began to grow as a person. It was here that I became my own person, an independent identity, and I began to form and defend my own ideas.. It’s also the place where I really started to get interested in the world for the first time – in travel, society, and culture. So it is very appropriate that this is where I come back to as I start to figure out what to do next. You can get great perspective by being away from your regular surroundings – but even more so when you are in a place with personal significance.

My life, rebooted
Which brings me to my own path. I am still adjusting to the new reality of my life, and I am sure next week will be hard, my first week living alone. But as I consider how I will adapt, and how I will live my life, I realize that the best thing I can do is be true to myself.

Since we need to give each other space, it is the perfect time to look within, to try and get better at finding my own happiness without depending on others. And to do that, I think that what I need to do is throw myself into the things I am most passionate about – namely, writing, creating and developing ideas. It’s a drive that’s been deep inside me for a long time, and if one positive is to come from all of this it’s that living alone will allow me to unleash my creativity in an unconstrained way.

New start, new blog
I’ve been planning a new blog for a while, but this seems the perfect time to really do it. So here it is, at alexbowyer.com. It’s part of reinventing myself and really putting more effort into getting my creativity out there. You see with my writing too, I’d kind of got stuck in a rut. My blogs have languished, and even though I’ve written a lot over the last 6-10 months, I never quite finish and publish things. Sometimes it’s because I get bogged down in trying to fit in too many details – and other times it’s just that I get caught up spending too much time writing short updates in the addictive social bubbles of Facebook and Twitter; a far less rewarding activity, creatively speaking.

Fortunately I recently joined a writers’ group in Montreal, a very supportive group of people many of whom I previously attended a writing course with at the Thomas More Institute. Attending the group is giving me just the push I need to really get back into writing.

As for this blog, the layout and structure is very basic at first, but I will build it up over time (I have lots of ideas for different sections for my different types of writing, and other features I might add now that my PHP and WordPress skills have improved). Also, so that it’s not too empty, I have imported the content from my previous Posterous and Blogger blogs, both of which will be discontinued imminently. I was tempted to put one of those retro “under construction” animated gifs here, but decided that would be a little cheesy. But it is really a work in progress. You can expect this site to evolve.

I hope you will get something from sharing my journey into the unknown, as I try to rediscover myself and reinvent myself for this strange new world of “married but living apart” that I am entering into. And don’t hesitate to contact me about anything you read here – either publicly in comments or personally by email. Out of respect, I will be keeping my comments and observations about relationships fairly general, but hopefully not so much as to make them irrelevant.

As for the subject matter of the blog, you can expect to see posts on a few different topics – the impact of technology on society (à la Human 2.0), fiction and non-fiction writing I’ve done, commentary on life in Montreal, and maybe some photos and travel stuff too. I suspect there will be a new emerging category about relationships, communication and self-help too. I also hope to write some things about the semantic web – my new field of work at OpenText.

Some of the writing may be a little indulgent as I find my feet.. but over time I hope it will get more polished and interesting to read.

So, stay tuned… your feedback and support is appreciated.


  1. Having been at the marriage of this fine couple, I hope that whatever paths they’re both going to lead from now on will eventually lead the back to each other.

    I remember you not shutting up about Mrs Alex before you got together Alex, so keep that in mind while you’re married-apart…

  2. A difficult time indeed, for you both, Alex, and I wish you the best as you look to unleash your creativity and fabulous ideas. Your blog is very well written, showing how the very personal is also the most universal. We have all experienced setbacks and deadends. They present the greatest potential for change and growth, even though it doesn’t feel good at the time.

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